Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, May 7, 2011

MVNews this week:  Page 12



 Mountain Views News Saturday, May 7, 2011 

HOWARD Hays As I See It


GREG Welborn

“I don’t know where he is. 
You know, I just don’t spend 
that much time on him.”

President George W. Bush - 
March 13, 2002

“I can report to the American 
people and to the world that the 
United States has conducted an 
operation that killed Osama bin 
Laden . . . “ 

President Barack Obama - May 1, 2011

I often think of history when reading Greg Welborn’s 
columns, and take a stroll down memory 
lane. Last week’s argument, that giving Big Oil 
whatever they want will bring cheaper gas, evoked 
memories of that same argument used since the 
Reagan years. (Remember when, after federal 
lands were leased, taxes cut and environmental 
protections gutted, prices dropped at the pump? 
Neither do I.)

For thirty years, Big Oil has suggested if we 
lease more land, they’ll drill more oil. But as then-
Sen. Barack Obama pointed out during the 2008 
campaign, 68 million acres, three-quarters of all 
leases held, are kept as unused assets on the books 
of oil companies, since it’s more profitable to leave 
oil in the ground than to bring it to market.

As a global commodity, if we increased domestic 
production by a million barrels a day, OPEC could 
simply cut their own output by a million barrels to 
bring supplies back down. President Bush’s Energy 
Department found that plunging immediately 
into unrestrained offshore drilling wouldn’t have 
any effect on prices before 2030, and then “any 
impact ... is expected to be insignificant.” 

Greg mentioned the history involving Presidents 
Carter, Reagan and Obama as related to energy 
policy. Recent events invite a similar look at 
approaches to national security.

After effecting the Panama Canal Treaty and 
peace between Israel and Egypt, President Carter’s 
focus turned to the Iran hostage crisis. Tehran 
threatened to try our personnel as spies, and punish 
accordingly. Carter made clear through back-
channels that if any hostage were put on trial, an 
economic blockade would be imposed on Iran. 
If any were harmed or killed, an attack would be 

President Carter knew his re-election hung on 
the success of a planned rescue attempt, but risked 
it anyway. Though the plan was aborted in the 
sands of Desert One, no hostage was put on trial, 
and all returned safely.

After the 1983 bombing of our Marine barracks 
in Beirut, killing 241, President Reagan lobbed 
shells from offshore and withdrew. In a 1998 interview, 
Osama bin Laden cited this incident as 
showing “the decline of American power and the 
weakness of the American soldier”.

When Americans were again taken hostage, 
Reagan responded by supplying Iran with Hawk 
and TOW missiles. “I told the American people I 
did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my 
best intentions still tell me that’s true, but the facts 
and the evidence tell me it is not.”

President Clinton responded to the first World 
Trade Center and Oklahoma City bombings by 
finding, convicting and punishing those responsible; 
life imprisonment for Omar Rahman and 
death for Timothy McVeigh. When it was determined 
al Qaeda was behind the African embassy 
bombings, Clinton launched attacks on bin Laden’s 
bases in Afghanistan.

Outgoing Clinton Administration officials advised 
incoming Bush counterparts our biggest 
threats were Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. 
Bush officials instead prioritized development of a 
missile defense shield and preparations to invade 
Iraq. Ron Suskind reported how a CIA operative 
flew to Crawford to personally brief the president 
on the August 2001 memo, “Bin Laden Determined 
to Strike in U.S.” “All right”, the president 
told the operative, “You’ve covered your ass, now.”

Osama bin Laden said a major motivation behind 
9/11 was the presence of American forces at 
the Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia. Within 
hours of the attacks, President Bush saw to the 
safe passage of bin Laden’s family out of the U.S. 
In 2003, he saw to the closing of the Prince Sultan 
Air Base. 

In 2005, President Bush deactivated the CIA 
unit, established under Clinton, dedicated to 
hunting down bin Laden. Four years later, President 
Obama informed new CIA chief Leon Panetta 
that targeting bin Laden was once again a 

During the 2008 campaign, Sen. Obama took 
flak for suggesting if it were determined bin Laden 
was in Pakistan, he’d pursue him whether he had 
Pakistan’s cooperation or not. This determination 
was branded reckless and naive by Republican 
candidate Sen. John McCain and Secretary of 
State Condoleezza Rice.

Within hours of the president’s May 1 announcement, 
some tried to rewrite history and 
imagine some vindication of war criminals who 
tortured. Time-lines and records show whatever 
information was used in tracking down bin Laden 
came from intelligence professionals and “standard” 
interrogation procedures. Whatever information 
was obtained through torture proved to be 

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld 
says useful information was obtained from detainees 
at Guantanamo, but insists “ . . . it was not 
harsh treatment and it was not water-boarding.”

A welcome result of new policies was the seamless 
cooperation between the Pentagon, State Department, 
FBI and CIA; a reversal from the days 
when FBI professionals turned away in disgust 
as the CIA brought in private torturers-for-hire 
who, at the behest of Vice-President Cheney, tried 
to extract some link between 9/11 and Saddam 

History shows, 35 years ago, President Carter 
characterizing our addiction to foreign oil as a 
matter of national security; it shows President 
Reagan, in one of his first acts, taking down the 
solar panels Carter had installed atop the White 

History shows 15 of the 19 hijackers of 9/11 
coming from Saudi Arabia; it shows, a few years 
later, a Crawford Ranch photo-op of President 
Bush holding hands with Saudi Prince Abdullah 
as he pleads for more oil.

History began a new chapter in a White House 
situation room and a compound thirty miles outside 
of Islamabad. For those of us who watched 
President Obama’s announcement Sunday night, 
it was hard not to feel a part of it.

There has been no shortage of articles written 
about the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Too many 
of these have focused on the insignificant - who 
gets the credit, Bush or Obama, or whether we 
should release pictures of Bin Laden’s body. Sadly, 
others have focused on trying to prove how once 
again, through unilateral action and our failure 
to arrest, rather than kill Bin Laden, America has 
acted imperialistically and immorally. It is disappointing 
to find that some local pastors have 
joined in this chorus to condemn the righteous 
joy Americans feel in bringing this evil person to 
final account. It is into that warped view that I 
want to bring some much needed perspective on 
the unquestioned morality of American resolve, 
commitment and justice.

 To do this, let me start by drawing from an 
A.P. story that was just released on a new navy 
warship that will be named after Lt. Michael Murphy. 
Back in June of 2005, Lt. Murphy and his 
fellow SEALS were dropped into Afghanistan to 
track down a particularly nasty warlord. As they 
dug into a mountain top, they were discovered by 
3 goat herders. Because of that, both sides were 
faced with a truly significant moral question. 

 The SEALS quickly realized that if they released 
the goat herders, who were ostensibly innocent 
civilians, the odds were high that they 
would betray the SEALS’ position, but if they 
killed the three, their mission and their safety 
would be more secure. Lt. Murphy led the discussion 
that night, arguing persuasively that 
morality demanded their release. Lt. Murphy’s 
commitment to principle ran deep. He earned 
his nickname, “the protector”, after getting suspended 
from elementary school for fighting with 
bullies who were stuffing a special-needs child 
into a locker. That same moral compass led him 
to enlist instead of going to law school. His view 
was that “there were bullies in the world”, and 
“sometimes they have to be taken care of.”

 Ultimately, the goat herders made their own 
moral decision. They did betray the SEALS, and 
two members of the squad, along with 16 rescuers, 
were ultimately killed by an attack from more 
than 100 Taliban. The story is a powerful one, 
and it is best told by the lone survivor, who wrote 
a book by that name.

 But this story is only one of thousands like it. 
Despite the small number of sensational stories 
about a handful of bad apples, the vast majority of 
American servicemen willingly put their lives at 
risk for the sake of their commitment to a higher 
moral standard than ever evidenced by a single 
member of the Taliban or Al Qaeda. Lt. Murphy 
understood as a grade schooler what too many 
adults still don’t understand. There are bullies in 
the world. Some of them aren’t just mean; they’re 
evil and violent. They feel no remorse or moral 
compunction at slaughtering 3,000 innocent civilians 
in New York or tens of thousands of fellow 
Muslims in the bazaars of the Middle East. It 
is a vastly under-reported fact 
that more Muslims have been 
killed, maimed, tortured or 
falsely imprisoned by Muslim 
terrorists than have ever been 
killed by an American soldier. 
It is also under-reported 
that the primary protector of 
Muslims around the world has 
been America. 

 Americans came to the rescue in the Balkans. 
Americans rescued the Kuwaitis. Americans 
freed Afghans from Taliban repression and 
torture. Americans gave Iraqis their freedom, 
and today we stand as the primary line of defense 
for those in Libya who seek to establish their own 
democracy and decent society. If secular commentators 
and religious leaders are going to comment 
on the morality of American actions, is it 
unreasonable to ask that they get their facts right 
and look at the totality of the commitment, effort 
and sacrifice we make that others may live in 
peace and dignity?

 But there is more to this question than just 
the righteousness and selflessness of our actions 
in protecting others. We must address the 
righteousness of killing those who would kill or 
torture innocents. We can always hope, as God 
does, that the wicked will turn from their evil 
ways. But if they don’t, we should have no regrets 
at taking action to prevent them from harming 
others, even if that means taking their life.

 The act of killing Osama Bin Laden was 
one of the most moral acts I can think of in my 
generation. There is not one scintilla of evidence 
to suggest that he was remorseful or even desirous 
of living a quiet life in seclusion. As was just 
reported this morning, one of his computer hard 
drives contained evidence of a current plot to 
launch an attack against our train system. Letting 
Bin Laden live would have inevitably meant 
that more innocent people would die – Americans 
and Muslims. To stand by and allow that 
to happen would have unquestionably been a 
deeply immoral act. 

 So as we reflect on the significance and morality 
of Bin Laden’s death at the hands of U.S. 
forces, let us not avert our eyes from the whole 
truth. Facts are sometimes uncomfortable to 
look at, but morality demands that we look at 
them honestly and make the difficult decisions. 
We gave the man 10 years to repent. He continued 
to choose evil and harm others. We put a 
stop to that. We did a good thing! God bless the 
United States of America.

About the author: Gregory J. Welborn is a freelance 
writer and has spoken to several civic and religious 
organizations on cultural and moral issues. 
He lives in the Los Angeles area with his wife and 
3 children and is active in the community. He can 
be reached at HYPERLINK mailto:gregwelborn@




The nomination period is now open for my "Citizen of the Year" contest in the 
29th Senate District covering portions of Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino 
Counties. My district office in Walnut must receive these nominations by May 
10th, or they can also be emailed to my District Director, Tim Shaw, at

The contest is open to all constituents that I serve in the San Gabriel Valley, Inland 
Valley and Northern Orange County communities that I represent. I feel it’s important 
to recognize people who have contributed to our overall quality of life and 
made significant contributions to our area.

The nominations that I am seeking for the "Citizen of the Year" contest should list 
specific projects that the nominee took part in or committees in which the nominee 
was involved. Specific contributions in the field of law enforcement, education, 
transportation or the environment should also be highlighted.

I will treat the winner of the Citizen of the Year contest to lunch in the District, and 
the winner will also receive an official Senate Resolution noting the achievement.

The contest is open to all deserving constituents who reside in the cities of Arcadia, 
Bradbury, Brea, Charter Oak, Chino, Chino Hills, Claremont, Diamond Bar, Glendora, 
La Crescenta-Montrose, La Habra, La Habra Heights, La Verne, Mayflower 
Village, Monrovia, North El Monte, Placentia, San Dimas, Sierra Madre, Walnut 
and Yorba Linda.

The 29th Senate District also includes portions of Anaheim, the Angeles National 
Forest, Citrus, City of Industry, East Pasadena, East San Gabriel, Hacienda Heights, 
Juniper Hills, Rowland Heights and Tujunga.



Co-Authors AB 12 to Raise Fines Against “Johns”

Sacramento – Assemblymember Anthony Portantino 
(D-La Canada Flintridge) has added his 
support to AB 12, the Abolition of Child Commerce, 
Exploitation and Sexual Slavery Act. The 
bill, which passed the Assembly Public Safety 
Committee with unanimous support, would increase 
the fine against anyone convicted of engaging 
in prostitution with a minor under the age 
of 16.

“Current law is too lenient on these so-called 
‘johns’ or customers,” said Assemblymember Portantino. 
“These children often come from homes 
where they have been brutalized or abandoned 
and they turn to the streets to support themselves. 
We have to shield these children from the 
dangers of these sexual predators. As the father 
of two daughters, I am horrified and angered that 
current law doesn’t do more to keep these creeps 
away from minors.”

AB 12 increases the fine for paying for sex with 
a minor to $25,000. That money would be deposited 
in the Victim-Witness Assistance Fund to 
support agencies that aid exploited minors. The 
bill now goes to the Assembly Floor for a vote.

Due to the high demand for her tutoring and education services, bookstore 
owner, Sally Morrison, is opening a new learning center here in Sierra Madre. 
Mindspring Education Center will cater to students (children and adults) 
interested in furthering their reading, writing, math, spelling, and 
comprehension skills. In addition, Sally offers assistance in study skills, 
homework, and test preparation. She also specializes in helping students 
with dyslexia and other learning difficulties. Those interested in summer 
sessions should contact Mindspring soon because space is limited.
As a result of this business expansion, Sally Morrison and Jeffrey Ingwalson, 
owners of Sierra Madre Books, will be closing the bookstore in June 2011. 
“We appreciate all the support we’ve received from our customers over the 
past few years, but are excited about our new venture. We look forward to 
continuing to be part of this community.”
For questions about Mindspring Education Center, please call (626) 355-1972.
For questions about Sierra Madre Books, please call (626) 836-3200.
The Opening of...
Mindspring Education CenterOne-to-One Instruction for All Ages37 Auburn Ave., Suite 7ASierra Madre, CA 91024(626)